The shelves of Guillermo Lasso’s office are lined with books that inform his politics: Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations; The Denationalization of Money by Friedrich Hayek; a compendium of cases about free speech from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
“A government cannot regulate freedom of expression,” the Ecuadorean conservative opposition leader told the Financial Times before Sunday’s presidential election, in which he won more than 28 per cent of the vote. The result will likely force a run-off against Lenín Boltaire Moreno, the anointed candidate of leftwing leader Rafael Correa.
He added: “At home I also have a long interview with Fidel Castro on my desk, because I’m curious to understand how people have built such mistaken doctrines.”
Discontent with Mr Correa’s rule and a pledge by the free marketeer Mr Lasso to create 1m jobs convinced more than a quarter of Ecuador’s electorate to back him. …